Earlier today, the University of Connecticut announced that they have hired former Tennessee and Penn State head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan. The hiring follows the anticipated retirement of 37-year veteran head coach Greg Roy.
Alford-Sullivan, who was the first woman in SEC history to coach a men's program in any sport, shockingly did not have her coaching contract renewed earlier this year. Her unexpected dismissal led to dramatic coaching shifts throughout the country, leading Duane Ross to leave North Carolina A&T and Sean Carlson leaving Notre Dame, both for Director roles at Tennessee.
Alford-Sullivan will now be joining a UConn program that was initially expecting to lose their men's team during sports budget cuts stemming from the pandemic.
Luckily, the Huskies' men's team survived thanks to rigorous fundraising efforts.
Seeing Tennessee and Alford-Sullivan part ways came as a surprise. The week before the news broke, the Volunteer men had finished 3rd as a team at the SEC Outdoor Championships, their highest finish since 2008 when they also placed 3rd.
Alford-Sullivan would ultimately part ways with the Volunteers, but her men's team would end the academic year by earning 3rd place team finishes at both the 2022 NCAA Indoor Championships and the 2022 NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Now, she'll join a UConn program that is at the heights of its (still early) BIG East dominance after a previous seven-year stint in the American Athletic Conference.
At the most the recent BIG East Outdoor Championships, the Huskies' men's and women's teams both earned conference titles, beating the next-best teams in their respective standings by at least 50 points.
The UConn men and women also earned a pair of convincing team title victories at the BIG East Indoor Championships this past winter.
With the Huskies emerging as a major threat in their newly-joined conference, Coach Alford-Sullivan will now be tasked with extracting the full potential out of her men's and women's teams.